General Debate
    Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
    His Excellency
    Ri Su Yong
    Minister for Foreign Affairs
    Video player cover image

    Statement summary

    RI SU YONG, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said the United Nations was at a crucial historic point as it drew upon the successes and learned from the failures of the past 70 years. It was fortunate that humankind had evaded a third world war over that period.  “The peace demanded by humankind is not one that is fragile like a thin ice layer, but peace that is rock firm, durable and permanent,” he said.  While the world had undergone tremendous changes, the United Nations mechanisms for peace and security were little different from the old stereotype formed at its founding.  The arbitrariness and undemocratic practices of the Security Council had been redressed, and the Organization was continuously used as a confrontation arena by a few individual Powers.  That was the biggest failure of the Organization’s 70‑year history and the greatest challenge in the road ahead.

    In the twenty-first century, the Council continued to commit arbitrary acts against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and violated justice and international law, he said.  International law defined the use of outer space as a sovereign right of every country and more than 10 countries had launched satellites.  Yet the Council had passed a “resolution” prohibiting his country from launching satellites.  Nine countries had already developed and conducted more than 2,000 nuclear tests.  Yet again, the Council had adopted “resolutions” on prohibiting nuclear tests in his country, which had carried out such tests only three times.  Last year, the United States launched yet another anti-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea campaign at the General Assembly and Council on the basis of the “Report of the Commission of Inquiry” on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  It was fabricated with groundless evidence, thereby exposing that the Organization was still no more than a tool which could be abused by the United States.  His country’s development of outer space for peaceful purposes was a legitimate right of a sovereign state, and its nuclear test was a self-defensive measure to cope with the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the United States.

    Last August, the situation on the Korean peninsula had once again headed to the brink of war, he said.  Though triggered by a small incident whose cause remained unknown, it was clear that such incidents occurred every time when the large-scale joint military exercises carried out by the United States and the Republic of Korea reached their height.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea referred the exercises to the Council since they were threats to international peace and security.  The Council remained silent on the referrals every time.  It was crucial to replace the Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty without further delay, and it was high time for the United States to sign it.  His Government was willing to hold constructive dialogue to prevent war and conflict on the Korean peninsula once the United States agreed to the new treaty without making claims about “someone’s provocation” through mass media.


    Full statement

    Read the full statement, in PDF format.

    Statement in English


    Listen to and download the full statement in mp3 format.

    Loading the player...


    Portrait of His Excellency Ri Su Yong (Minister for Foreign Affairs), Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
    UN Photo credit.

    Previous sessions

    Access the statements from previous sessions.

    Right of Reply (27 September 2015)

    First Declaration:

    The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that this morning his counterpart from the Republic of Korea had made disagreeable references to his country.  He rejected as misleading the legality prevailing in the Korean peninsula, saying he wished to clarify those remarks about his country’s possession of weapons of mass destruction.  The delegate had “missed the other part of the story”, which was that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had been living with the threat of weapons and bombs hanging over their heads for decades.  In 1957, the United States had brought nuclear weapons to the Korean peninsula and by the 1970s those weapons had numbered 1,000.  In 2002, the United States Government had proclaimed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea a member of the “axis of evil”, which meant that it should be eliminated, and was listed for a “nuclear pre-emptive strike”.  Under that situation, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had to prevent nuclear weapons from falling on the heads of its people, and was thus prepared to have nuclear deterrence.  In reference to the so-called “nuclear test this year”, he said that the Republic of Korea delegate had been referring to the launch of a peaceful satellite launched not this year, but last December.  He said that exercise was within the full sovereignty of his country, which was “equal” under the United Nations Charter, yet the document adopted was in flagrant violation of his country’s sovereignty.  That was an abuse of power by the so-called permanent member of the Security Council, the United States.  It undermined the credibility of the United Nations and the Council.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was the only country brought before the Council for launching a satellite, and it rejected the resulting resolution as illegal, he said.  Nuclear development and safeguarding the peace and security of a people was the best way to ensure an environment for peaceful economic development.  Regarding the cancelation of family visits, he said that was because the South had taken a confrontational approach.  Since family reunions were a fundamental key to reconciliation and reunification of the peninsula, the North “kindly recommended” that the South take into consideration the 15 June North–South Joint Declaration that had been unanimously welcomed by the General Assembly.

    Source: GA/11429


    Second Declaration:

    The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said that the South had again made misleading remarks in talking about nuclear weapons in the Korean peninsula, whereas it was the presence of nuclear weapons in the South that had undermined the region’s peace and security for decades.  The South’s delegate had said that the nuclear weapons were not there, but if that was the case, then international law required verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  Also, the South had launched a satellite immediately after the North’s satellite launch, but because it was an ally of the United States, the issue had not been taken before the Security Council.  That was a double standard, he said.  Regarding family reunions, he said the South had opened a joint military exercise and had gone ahead with provocations by arresting political figures favouring Korean reunification.  The 15 June North–South Joint Declaration should be given priority as the only way forward, and the South should answer to the international community, he said.

    Source: GA/11